Monday, July 5, 2010

“The Jazz Me Blues”

Happy Monday, everyone!  I’m running a bit behind my time, but we had a show yesterday & things generally have seemed a bit discombobulated of late. 

Today’s Musical Monday post is this month’s Alice in Wonder Band featured song, “The Jazz Me Blues.”  The recording was made at a show at the Alpine Playhouse in McCall, Idaho on September 28, 2002—not the ill-fated version of the same song I wrote about in a previous post!  This particular Alpine Playhouse show was a real joy—we had a lot of energy, & so did the audience, which had packed the house that evening.  The line-up for “The Jazz Me Blues” was as follows:

Lois Fry: violin
Art Troutner: oboe
Eberle Umbach: marimba
Barb Dixon: drum
Kati Sheldon: wood block
John Hayes: plectrum banjo

I should note that Kati was one of the band’s two vocalists at that point; Deadre Chase was the other. 

“The Jazz Me Blues” was a big hit for the Original Dixieland Jazz Band, a combo that—depending on whom you believe—probably issued the first “jazz” recordings in the late ‘teens.  Of course, this was a time of strict segregation in music, as well as in most aspects of life in the United States, & it can be assumed that the Original Dixieland Jazz Band (originally “Jass Band”) enjoyed the opportunities afforded to a white combo.  The band was billed as “the Creators of Jazz,” which, despite the group’s talents, is an absurd claim, given the fact that African-Americans such as Jelly Rolly Morton, Buddy Bolden & many others had been playing in this style for close to two decades when the Original Dixieland Jazz Band made its first recordings.  Still, they are an important group in jazz history, & many of their tunes are as catchy as this one.

Hope you enjoy it!


  1. Huh! I have to admit, that's the first time I've ever heard old-time jazz played on an oboe. Very interesting arrangement.

  2. Hi Roy: Eberle made the arrangement. Oboe is uncommon in old-time jazz for sure. But living in the country, we work with "available materials," & fortunately, Art is a very solid musician.

  3. Hi Alan: Thanks! So glad you enjoyed it.

  4. Hi Dianne: So glad you liked it!

  5. This was terrific. Nice "live show" sound. I like the graphics, especially the postcards, that accompanied the piece.

  6. Hi Jacqueline: Thanks! We did get a decent sound considering the recording was done on a little Sony minidisk. There are lots of cool New Orleans postcards at Wiki Commons.

  7. By the way: to folks who commented prior to Jacqueline--I have no idea what happened to your comments! Blogger says they're still here, but I can't see them either!

  8. What a delightful recording! Nothing wrong with jazz oboe. It's all about using what's available, as you say. I used to play in a New Orleans band in which we all had interesting second instruments - cello, recorder, harpsichord, etc.- and I always wanted us to experiment playing with them instead of our usual, traditional line up. Sadly, we never did.

  9. Oh how delightful! thanks for that! A little bit discordant so it seems by moments but very refreshing.


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